Flu snowballing heart attack odds: Not too late to get vaccinated, cardiologist says

As Americans battle the most sever flu season in nearly a decade, Dr. Kevin Campbell, CEO of PaceMate, a cardiac remote monitoring software company, warns this year’s flu strain is putting extra stress on peoples’ hearts.

A new study by The New England Journal of Medicine showed that if you had the flu or a respiratory illness like the flu you are six times more likely to die of a heart attack seven days after a diagnosis, Dr. Campbell told FOX Business.

“It can really cause the release of stress hormones... [and] really put an extra workload on the heart,” Campbell said to Cheryl Casone Friday on “FBN: AM.”

This year’s flu season is expected to claim the life of as many as 50,000 Americans as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says this year’s flu vaccine only reduces a person’s risk of getting the flu by 36%. People at high risk of serious complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and those 65 years or older.

People who have underlying heart disease can be what tips you over and causes the heart attack,” Campbell warned.

Even though the annual flu shot is not as effective against this year’s strain, the CDC says it’s still the most important step in preventing the virus.

“It’s still not too late to get vaccinated,” Campbell added.